By Gary Harley
Sky Racing host Richard Freedman, who trains at Rosehill, has two live chances at the Newcastle race meeting on Saturday. Freedman will send four of his team to Newcastle with talented sprinter Cartel and promising stayer Triple Choice both given a big tick by their trainer.
The lightly-raced Cartel will be hard to beat in the final event, a 1200m Benchmark 64 Handicap after putting the writing on the wall at this track two weeks ago. It was only his second start for Freedman and after leading for the first 400m, Cartel was headed at the ‘800’ and took a sit behind the leader Cuban Sizzle.
The gelding raced past Cuban Sizzle and looked the winner 100m out, only to be nailed on the post by Signore Fox. Cartel was placed first-up at Hawkesbury and he will have benefited from the two runs.
“I have been very happy with both of Cartel’s runs and he has drawn well. I don’t want him to lead on Saturday, but he should get a nice run from the barrier. He has done well and will give a good sight,” Freedman said on Thursday.
Triple Choice lines up in the Newcastle Nobbys 1865 metre Benchmark 70 and his recent form includes an easy win at Taree three starts back and a close second at Kembla Grange last start.
He just missed it at Kembla and he would have won with a good tempo in the race.
“The longer trip will be no problem and he is a nice horse with a future. Triple Choice has a great chance in an open race,“ Freedman said.
Buckin’ Beauty should kick favourite backers off on a winning note when she steps out in the opening event a 900m Maiden Plate. The filly has been placed in her only two starts over the 900m at Newcastle.
Two starts back in May she was 2½ lengths behind the flying King at the post then two weeks ago the filly was runner-up after racing on the speed. With Hunter Valley-based apprentice Mikayla Weir claiming 3kg, Buckin’ Beauty will only carry 51½kg.
Former Hong Kong galloper Cool and Neat is set to win his first race since returning home when he contests the 1500m Class 1 Handicap on Saturday. Cool and Neat did not race when trained in Sydney in 2015 and he was sent to Hong Kong where he had his first start at Sha Tin in April 2016.
He raced 11 times abroad for one win over 1400 at Sha Tin in March 2017. Now six-years-old, Cool and Neat has had three runs since returning home and has finished a close second in his past two starts at Kembla Grange and Wyong. He is in a good stable with John Thompson and the leading provincial rider Jeff Penza has the mount.
Penza will also ride the promising filly Separated in the 1200m Maiden Handicap. She had two starts in the autumn and was only beaten 2.3 lengths by The Autumn Sun at Randwick in May. Separated trialled well recently.